2021 April Newsletter
Direct from Darryl
On Friday, we had a presentation from Dr. Sequeira from the Public Health Department about Covid vaccines. It was extremely informative and helped alleviate some fears of our staff about the vaccine. Did you know that just in San Bernardino County, there have been nearly 1 Million doses of the vaccine administered? Nationally, we are at 200 Million. It is amazing to see how quickly our scientific and medical communities have come together to protect us from this deadly disease.
Over 80% or our clients do not have a bank account, or at least did not when they entered our program. I opened my first bank account at 15 with my parents. They taught me how to balance my checkbook and manage my money. If they had not done that, or could not do that, who would have? Many of our clients did not learn this from their parents because their parents did not know. This is the cycle of poverty. I am grateful that we are able to help break the cycle. Most of us have a free bank account due to direct deposit, but our clients are spending over $100 each month on check cashing services and money orders.
I am truly grateful for the opportunity we have to make a difference in the lives of people who need a little help. Many of the young people in our program have never had a job, but are now employed. Many of the people we served have never lived in a house where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Many of the people we help have never been self-sufficient, and now they are. Together, we are making our community stronger. I am proud of the work we do, and appreciative of the community members who help make it possible.
Hope House is happy to say that we celebrated Easter in a Trunk or Treat event hosted by High Desert Second Chance food bank! Hope House was happy to represent Family Assistance Program by decorating our car Easter style and passing out candy to the community. We were grateful to be granted the opportunity to spread more awareness to our community about domestic violence, some attendees were even from outside of our high desert and San Bernardino community.
Liz, one of our organizers stated she enjoyed watching people come by and take photos of her display she made with some of our participants at Hope House, stating “It was so nice seeing people enjoy the work we put into decorating and being able to create a space for families to enjoy.”
Some of the attendees even recognized our program, one attendee in particular, Kate stated that our program was able to help her sister get out of a domestic violence situation and that she is now happily remarried and working to serve children with autism through another non-profit organization! We were happy to know that our work has the effect to not only help but influence people’s choices in the work they want to pursue! Once again, we would like to thank High Desert Second Chance food bank for the work they do and allowing us to be a part of your event and hope to be back next year!
The Open Door is currently in there second cycle of the Human Trafficking Advocacy Training. If you missed out on this one, not to worry our next training will start July 5th. Registration will open up on June 1st and will be located on Eventbrite.
We are actively recruiting volunteers to be a light in our participants life as they walk through their journey of victim to survivor. If this sounds like something meant for you, please email, Elizabeth@familyassist.org to find out more information about volunteering with the Open Door today.
The Open Door is in need of hygiene items for our shelter and transitional living program, if you have it in your heart, please call Elizabeth at (909) 838-0311 to drop of some items.
We participated in a job fair at our center hosted by our partners/neighbors at Operation New Hope. There were several clients that were hired on the spot! We also hosted a Make Up event for 25+ of our clients, obviously all within CDC guidelines, and were able to spend a day together with our youth laughing and learning new cosmetics skills. Our Outreach Coordinator Chloe spent a lot of time gathering supplies and shopping for specific products for our clients so huge shout out to her! For any questions or comments regarding our Open Arms Drop In Center please contact email@example.com
Here at My Place we are excited to be collaborating with one our local Target stores on a job workshops for our local youth. The workshops will help the youth prepare to join the workforce by helping build resumes, mock interviews, the do’s and don’ts of interviewing and much more. Target and My Place will host the first workshop at My Place. After our workshop is complete we will be working with the staff at FamSpot and getting a date set up there. We will continue to hold these workshops throughout the community as needed. We really feel that holding these workshops will definitely give out youth and insight of what’s expected of them when looking for work.
Also, we would like to thank the staff of Hope House for allowing one of our youth to dress as the Easter bunny and participate in their Easter event for the kids.
Next Step is excited to being going through a growth period. We have started moving into new properties that are expanding the number of individuals we can serve. Our Team has been growing stronger as well as we continue to provide in depth case management along with other excellent services. Our parole team has offered over 25 people rental assistance and is continuing to help people become self-sufficient. Our probation team has shown that they are an efficient power house of a department at Family Assistance Program. We have seen some of our team move onto new positions which we are always happy about. This leaves us with some opportunities for others to join us in both the parole and probation departments. Please send any resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Spirit is Strong in the Victor Valley
Huge thank you to Greiner Buick GMC for helping us with such an important purchase of a truck to help our participants transition out of our shelters and transitional houses into a home of their own. Instead of renting trucks from a national chain, we were able to secure funding to buy a used truck from a local car dealership that has a long record of giving back to our community! We couldn’t help as many people as we do without the support of our community and local businesses like Greiner Buick GMC!
When the truck was picked up from Greiner it was driven straight over to Midway Home Solutions to pick up a very generous donation of furniture and appliances to help a client who was moving into their very first apartment of their own. Thank you to Don Lager, owner of Midway Home Solutions that stated, “We support Family Assistance Program because we like to give back to our community. This is something that we have been doing for over 60 years here at Midway. This all came down from the teachings from my own Mom and Dad. That’s why we give back and are going to continue to give back.” Together with businesses like Midway we can help make our community a better place, one person at a time. We couldn’t do what we do without the help of our amazing community.
Next Step Morongo Basin
This month at Next Step Morongo Basin we have been working on getting our TAY participants back on track and attending weekly groups. We are working on getting our youth involved with small obtainable weekly goals and finding more fun things to do in our community. We are planning a field trip to our local Joshua Tree Farmer’s Market and our participants are very excited about getting out to see the local vendors as well as trying new healthy food choices that are offered there. This will be an all-around good and interactive learning experience for our youth and will teach them life skills such as shopping and budgeting. At Next Step Morongo Basin, we want our TAY participants to feel safe, happy and to always be working towards thier “Next Step” in life.
We serviced 796 individuals in March and provided clothing to 95 individuals during our weekly hygiene and clothing giveaway. We assisted 42 individuals with replacement ID vouchers in obtaining their IDs and offered 34 bus passes to individuals to attend their court hearings, job interviews, and appointments. We’ve received 97 bags and 31 boxes of donations from our generous community. Because of the donations that continue to come in through our doors, we can continue providing clothing and hygiene to our community members on Wednesdays.
This March was full of activities and events that brought joy within our community:
We helped out Rescue Mission with their Easter feeding this month. We opened our gates and provided chairs, tables, and set out clothing and hygiene for our unhoused community.
We were also able to provide Easter baskets to some of our class participants. Ahea worked very hard to ensure that the baskets were perfect for her participants children. The families were full of joy and thankful that we were able to provide their children with baskets.
Jobi and Ahea also assisted with the Easter drive-thru event with High Desert Equality at the Adelanto stadium. We had several vendors that also provided resources to the community. Altogether they were able to raise $1600 that will go to our domestic violence services and were able to serve about 85 cars and 157 children.
For the past two weeks the Fam Spot has made multiple changes in a major way. We have recently gained a handful of new probation youth due to close communication with the Victorville probation office. The probation youth have been very involved in our Fam Spot activities, such as help cleaning the TAY youth housing properties, participating in the next generation information change with Mr. Dustin and Officer Greg Jones. Mr. Dustin was also able to get new couches and love seats for the Fam Spot, as well as new board game activities, a new desktop computer, and multiple healthy snacks for our youth. Mr. Dustin and the youth from My Place recently went for a beach trip. As for our street outreach, they assembled giveaway bags to pass out to homeless youth within our community and continue to help local youth in need.
Youth Advisory Board
This month we added two new members to our Youth Advisory Board and completed another street outreach event. Some of our youth attended a city council meeting and provided public comment centered around some of the issues facing the City of San Bernardino. We also began working on our IE Youth Advisory Council with partners from the Riverside CoC and our own county as well. We are still actively recruiting anyone who wants to make a difference from ages 14-25. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
Transitional Age Youth
The transitional age youth in the High Desert have been busy in March and April, currently all twelve TAY youth have full time jobs, but it has not been an easy road for some of them. One participant had a felony criminal background and with her case manager’s help she was able to get a full-time job at Amazon. It took lots of advocacy work and paperwork, but she was finally offered the job. Another client was feeling discouraged after finishing the Goodwill program and interviewing at several different jobs with no luck. We cheered her on and encouraged her to not give up and she was finally offered employment as a 211 operator. Another client has struggled the last few months with depression. Most of the time we found him sleeping all day and not motivated to do much but with a little mentorship and encouragement from us he was able to pass his food handlers test and receive a job at McDonald’s as a cook. We pride ourselves in being able to assist clients like this. Every person deserves a second chance at life and that is what makes Family Assistance Program so great. We get to assist these clients to their full potential. Two of our male clients bought their own cars this month and are well on their way to their own place in July. We are extremely proud of all their hard work. Many of our clients have taken advantage of the therapy services that FAP offers our clients through Dr. Seizmore. Many of the clients in our program suffer from some form of mental illness and it has been awesome to watch those who were not motivated to receive services and to get jobs and come out of the deep depression that they were in.
Thank you to Dr Michael Sequeira with the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health for speaking at our monthly all staff meeting about the COVID-19 vaccines! The information you shared was very informative and helpful. Our employees can feel safe doing their part by getting fully vaccinated.
Family Assistance Program envisions a community where each person has a loving, nurturing home life. We provide the tools necessary to create healthy interpersonal relationships, economic empowerment, and stable housing.